Italian Almond Ricotta Cake is the perfect Italian dessert. This recipe is full of flavor and so simple to make with ricotta cheese and almond extract. Don’t miss this recipe perfected for the best Almond Ricotta Cake!

Almond Ricotta Cake on a plate with a slice in the background.

If you are looking for an Italian treat that’s great for snacking or taking center stage on your dessert buffet, then this is it! So moist and flavorful, you are going to fall in love with Almond Ricotta Cake, guaranteed!

There are a lot of different almond cake recipes out there, but what makes this one so amazing is the ricotta cheese. So, if you love almond cake, then I urge you to try this recipe made with ricotta cheese and it will surely become your new go-to recipe.

Almond Ricotta cake with slice almonds and powdered sugar on top.

Why use Ricotta in Baking?

You may think that cheese and baked goods don’t go together, but think again. Mild and creamy cheeses that are more milk than cheese-like make great additions to baked goods. Ricotta, marscapone, and cream cheese, are all perfect for baking without adding any cheese flavors.

If you are unfamiliar, ricotta is a creamy white, mild, fresh cheese with a soft texture. It has a mildly sweet flavor and is similar to a fine-textured cottage cheese.

Ricotta is especially perfect for baking cakes. When properly incorporated, ricotta can elevate a cakes flavor and texture without adding any flavor. I prefer to use ricotta in baking over mascarpone and cream cheese because it is fluffier and not as dense.

The trick to successfully using ricotta in baking is to whip it up prior to adding the dry ingredients. I recommend beating the ricotta along with butter and sugars so that you incorporate air into the dish. If you don’t cream it, you could be left with a dense cake lacking lift.

Lastly, when it comes to baking with ricotta, always use whole milk ricotta cheese. The part skim version is fine for pastas and fillings, but whole milk is necessary for baking. You need the fat and flavor from whole milk to keep the baked items moist.

Traditional Italian Ricotta Desserts

There are many common flavors that can be found in Italian desserts: coffee, anise, almond, orange, lemon, and pistachio are just a few of them. The focus in on the flavors, not the sweetness. In my experience, Italian desserts are never normally overly sweet as compared to their American counterparts.

Here are some of my favorite Italian desserts that use ricotta cheese:

  • Lemon Ricotta Bundt Cake will forever be my favorite Italian ricotta dessert recipe. This light and flavorful recipe is an instant hit for anyone who tries it. So simple and so full of flavor, this cake is perfect for any occasion.
Lemon Ricotta Bundt Cake with paradise candied lemon peel on top
Lemon Ricotta Bundt Cake
  • Probably the most well-known ricotta based dessert is cannoli: a pastry tube filled with a sweetened ricotta mixture and often sprinkled with mini chocolate chips. I think these Cannoli Cheesecake Bars are a great way to get the flavors you love in cannolis, without all of the work. Plus, you can make these ahead and freeze them.
  • Italian Ricotta Cookies are a traditional Italian Christmas cookie that’s delicious year round. Simple ingredients and an easy frosting make the most flavorful and mouth-watering Italian cookies.
  • And you just can’t go wrong with a ricotta cheesecake. This Italian Cream Cheesecake is a delicious take on traditional cheesecake using whole milk ricotta cheese. This tasty cake is simple to make and perfect to make ahead.

Almond Extract and Chopped Almonds

To really bring the almond flavor to this cake I use a combination of almond extract and chopped almonds. The combination gives the perfect amount of almond flavor without compromising the mouthwatering texture of the cake.

overhead photo of the Italian dessert on a plate.

My recipe for Almond Ricotta Cake is a true recipe perfected. I have made this cake with variations so many times and have finally got the perfect combination of flavors and ingredients.

There are many other variations of Almond Cake, most of which use little to no flour and substitute almond flour instead. I personally find that those recipes yield a slightly too dense cake. Also, I never seem to have almond flour on hand either.

That why this recipe is perfect. It is made with simple ingredients you probably already have. The almond extract gives the perfect amount of flavor to the cake, while the diced almonds provide texture.

Moreover, the ricotta cheese seems to bring out all of the flavors. It really is the perfect Italian Almond Cake recipe.

How to Make Almond Ricotta Cake

This recipe has simple ingredients and is easy to make. However, there is one key step that can’t be missed. Read along to see how to master this recipe.

Firstly, grease a 9-inch standard springform pan with butter. Dust with powdered sugar and tap out any excess sugar. Set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

overhead photo of springform pan buttered and dusted with powdered sugar.

Next, you will need to cream together the softened butter, sugar, and ricotta cheese. You can use a stand up mixer or handheld electric mixer for this.

Now, here’s the important part: Be sure to cream together the butter, sugar, and ricotta for 5 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients. You need to whip the ricotta for this recipe so that you don’t end up with a dense, flat cake.

Then, beat in the eggs and almond extract. Add in the flour mixture and the finely chopped almonds. I like to use my hand blender’s mini food processor attachment for this. You could use your regular food processor or chop the almonds with a sharp kitchen knife.

italian desert cooling on a wire baking rack in springform pan.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the springform and cooling completely on a wire baking rack.

Easy Almond Ricotta Cake Topping

I like to keep the topping of this cake simple. Once cooled, just add a handful of sliced almonds the top of the cake. (You could also use these almonds for the cake batter, just finely chop before adding.)

Place the powdered sugar in a mini strainer and dust over the top of the cake. To do this, just slightly shake or tap the sugar until the top of the cake is covered.

powdered sugar and almonds on the top of the  Italian Almond Ricotta Cake.

You can make this cake up to a week in advance. Just store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Great served cold or at room temperature.

Love Italian desserts, be sure to sign up for the newsletter below. Also, check out my other fan favorites like Limoncello Ricotta Cake and the perfect cookie Italian Thumbprint Cookies.

Italian Almond Ricotta Cake.

Tried this recipe? Please comment below and let me know what you think!

Almond Ricotta cake with slice almonds and powdered sugar on top.

Almond Ricotta Cake

This Almond Ricotta Cake recipe is a traditional Italian dessert that's great served with a espresso, tea, or coffee.
4.97 from 185 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 2 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 289kcal
Cost: 8-10


  • 9 inch springform pan


  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (one stick)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 15 ounce container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup almonds, finely chopped


  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Greasing pan

  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position baking rack in the middle of the oven. Use 1 tablespoon of butter to grease a 9-inch standard springform pan. Add in one tablespoon of powdered sugar and move around pound, shaking out excess when coated. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl with handheld mixer or stand up mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together the stick of softened butter, sugar, and ricotta cheese until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add in the eggs and almond extract and cream together for another minute. Pour in the flour mixture and mix until combined. Fold in the finely chopped almonds.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake on center rack for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before releasing springform and cooling on wire baking rack completely.
  • For the topping, sprinkle sliced almonds on top of cooled cake. Place the powdered sugar in a fine mesh sieve to shake on top of cake just until cake is just covered.



Almond Ricotta Cake is a great make-ahead cake that stays perfectly moist. Just refrigerate until ready to serve, up to a week in advance. 


Calories: 289kcal
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!
almond ricotta cake pinterest pin.
4.97 from 185 votes (106 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Oh no! I have this in the oven now, and it smells good, with about 15 minutes left. I was re-reading the comments and noticed that the ricotta was supposed to be drained! Of course, I didn’t do that! Fingers crossed it will come out ok. And I thought the batter was super thick when putting the batter into the pan.

  2. 5 stars
    I love this cake! I’ve made it several times and always come back to it for the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee. Sometimes I will add jarred dark morello cherries to the top before baking. Cherries go perfectly with the almond flavor. But the recipe is also perfect as-is.

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! This recipe is my go-to dessert for dinner parties and potlucks since it travels well. Great breakfast cake as well.

  4. 5 stars
    This is my absolute favorite cake! Every time I bring it somewhere, everyone loves it. Have you ever made this using gluten free flour? I would like to make it to take to work but we have a couple of people who are gluten free.

    1. Yay! I’m so happy to hear this. Yes, I’ve made this with cup-for-cup brand GF flour and it works great! 🙂

    1. If the ricotta isn’t very wet, you don’t need to drain it. Otherwise, drain over a fine mesh sieve for about an hour.

  5. 4 stars
    The flavor of this recipe is good. However, I have a comment. When you cream the butter, sugar and ricotta together it will not work if the ricotta is cold. Or cream the butter and sugar together first then add the ricotta and beat. Cold ricotta solidifies the butter and it will not cream together cohesively.

    1. You beat together the butter and sugar first. Then, add in the ricotta and beat again for five minutes. 1

  6. 5 stars
    Right now I’m rating it five because I just pulled it out of the oven….and it’s beautiful and smells amazing 😍

  7. Hi Angela,
    I’m planning on making your cake but don’t have ricotta. Can I substitute cottage cheese for the ricotta?

    1. Yes! It may change the texture of the cake making it more dense, but it will still be delicious 🙂

  8. Just made this cake this afternoon and think it’s absolutely delicious!! I will definitely be making it again soon. My almonds were not the freshest and think it will be even better next time!! So happy I tried this recipe! Thank you!

  9. 5 stars
    This cake was delicious. Followed the recipe and drained ricotta. Came out perfect. I did brush Amaretto on top of cake while still warm. Will definitely make again!

  10. 4 stars
    The cake has great flavor. I question 15oz of ricotta. I baked the cake for an additional 10 minutes. The toothpick came out clean. The cake is gummy and is almost too moist. I was careful not to over mix. Your thoughts?

    1. Hi Sue. It sounds to me like you didn’t mix the batter enough. I state in the directions that the ricotta mixture should be beaten with an electric mixer for 4-5 minutes. This will help to lighten the cake and give it that fluffy texture. Also, make sure you are draining the ricotta before using. Hope this helps!